Suicide rates have been on the rise in recent years, and researchers from Boston are hoping to use artificial intelligence (AI) to fill the gap in mental health care. The team of scientists at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital recently developed an AI platform that can detect suicidal behavior before it happens.
The platform uses natural language processing technology to analyze conversations between patients and clinicians. It then looks for certain keywords or phrases that could indicate a person is considering suicide, such as “I want to die” or “I don’t see any point in living anymore.” If these words are detected, the system will alert clinicians so they can intervene quickly and provide help if needed.
The researchers tested their system on data from over 1 million patient visits across multiple hospitals in Massachusetts over a period of five years. They found that it was able to accurately identify suicidal behavior with 90 percent accuracy—a rate much higher than what humans alone could achieve without assistance from AI technology.
In addition, the team also looked at how well their system performed when compared with existing methods used by healthcare providers for detecting suicide risk factors among patients who had already been identified as being at high risk for suicide attempts or death by suicide. They found that their AI-based approach was more accurate than traditional methods like questionnaires or interviews conducted by clinicians during routine visits with patients who were already known to be at risk for self-harm or suicide attempts.
This new platform has great potential not only for helping healthcare providers better identify those who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts but also for providing them with additional tools they need to intervene quickly and effectively when necessary. As Dr John Torous, one of the lead authors of this study said: “We hope our work helps bridge gaps between clinical practice guidelines and real world implementation.”
|As Suicide Rates Spike, New AI Platform Could ‘Fill The Gap’ In Mental Health Care Say Boston Researchers|Technology|Fox News